DHL report – Omni–channel retail: fulfilling demand profitably

DHL Supply Chain has published research that suggests that e-commerce fulfilment and logistics can be up to 400% more per unit than those for traditional brick and mortar models.

The DHL report is called, “Omni–channel retail: fulfilling demand profitably”, and shows that retail growth in the omni-channel era is hampered by rising customer expectations and legacy supply chains.

DHL’s reports found that 86% of retailers believe that their supply chains of today are not up to the challenge of fulfilling omni-channel retail. The reports said that retailers need to consider a number of factors required to achieve success: a supply chain with omni-channel at its heart should be a priority for retail business strategy, a customised, fully integrated cross-channel inventory allows for back-end optimisation, and for e-commerce and high street stock to be merged and dynamically reallocated on a minute-by-minute basis.

However, according to DHL Supply Chain this is not a one size fits all solution. Retailers need to design their supply chain in line with their overarching strategy in order to ensure that it is effectively supports the direction and focus of the business.

“Consumers have come to expect a convenient retail experience in the form of shorter delivery times, free deliveries and returns, and full online inventory in stores as a matter of course, but within traditional supply chain frameworks, this can be extremely expensive to deliver,” said Jonathan Pilbro, DHL’s VP of business development.

“However it is possible to meet customer expectations while achieving profit targets. Retailers need to reconfigure their supply chains according to the new demands being placed on them.”
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